Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tutorial Tuesday - Halloween Cookies

This awesome tutorial comes has been created for Kiwicakes by Lisa at The Whole Cake & Caboodle

Step1 These are the cutters I used but you can use similar substitutes. The round shape is a 5.5cm circle from the round nesting cookie cutters set. The bat and ghost are from the Halloween mini cookie cutter set. The tombstone is actually the centre of the handbag cookie cutter which comes in two pieces but you could use a small rectangle shape also. The square can be substituted for rounds, rectangles, or any shape you like or hand cut something if needed. Bake the amount you need. Everything is baked exactly as its cut by the cookie cutter - except the round shape which has a small portion cut off the base, with a knife to allow it to stand. There is no exact amount that you need to trim but about 1 cm up from the base of the circle works well

Step 2 Make a sugar syrup at a ratio of half sugar/half water. I used 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup of sugar which will give you more than enough for dozens of complete cookies. This was then microwaved for about 2-3 minutes (or until boiled and dissolved), you may need to stir this during this time to mix in the sugar. If you wish you can also use piping gel as a glue

Step 3 Cover the moon and ghosts with white fondant rolled to the thickness you desire. I use thickness guides to ensure its even but you can always use kebab sticks or ice block sticks as well (new ones of course!) 

To adhere the fondant to the cookie brush the cookie lightly with sugar syrup. You should see a glisten as it sits on the surface.

Step 4 Once you have covered the moons turn them over and trim off the excess fondant from the base

Step 5 Mix a small amount of black into some white fondant lightly in a pulling twisting motion. This makes it mottled and gives a marbled effect to use on the tombstones

Step 6 Cut out required amount of tombstones, you can use the jagged edges of the rolled fondant to give a worn look to the tombstones or add your own cuts

Step 7 Either leave blank the tombstones blank or write words or names on with a food pen.Or stamp the tombstones with letters to spell out "HELP" or "RIP" or whatever takes your fancy. The press set I used here is the tiny alphabet message press set and you need to remember to put each one in backwards as shown so that it stamps correctly

Step 8 Using the sugar syrup glue ghost cookies to tombstones either in front, or behind, or in whatever position takes your fancy. Support them for an hour and they will stick well together. This can be done while you are making the rest of the cookies.

Step 9 Dust the edges of the moons if you desire. I used a smidgeon of black dust and a mix of a thin coat of yellow and then a touch of blue. Some were dusted also with a pearl white for shimmer.

Step 10 Glue bats to the moons in a pleasing position and glue black fondant to them. They look just as good plain or you can add detail as follows. Eyes can be marked on the bats with the end of a paintbrush as can the mouths on the ghosts. The bats eyes can then be further filled with small white fondant balls or piped with white royal icing. The wings of the bat were also marked to give more detail. You can also handpaint smaller bat shapes to give the illusion of a group in flight

Step 11 Eyeballs can be dotted in on both the bats and ghosts using a marker pen or a spot of black gel colouring on the tend of a toothpick. This gives a nice dot shape. You need to let the royal icing dry first in the bats eyes before marking the eyeball/pupil

Step 12 Take your base cookie and some fondant. Any colour can be used but I have used chocolate brown both for the taste and to simulate dirt. You need enough to provide a base for either the moon or tombstone cookie to sit in so judge according to the size of that cookie. Of course you can always use more and cover the whole cookie if you wish! Glue this in a blob to the cookie It needs to have a little depth of about 0.5-1.0 cm for support depending upon how much fondant you want to use.

Step 13 Take your tombstone or moon cookie and press the base into the chocolate fondant. This creates a pattern of the shape where your cookie will sit. Indent this with a tool to create a deeper trench almost to the base of the cookie for the moon or tombstone to sit in like so

Step 14 Use a touch of sugar glue in the trench (don't drown it though!!) and push the required cookie in. It should sit straight and be well supported but if it doesn’t feel secure or wobbles then gently push the fondant at the front and back up against the cookie or add some extra fondant balls to create a higher ground support. Glue all your cookies together in groups you are happy with. There should be room for at least two items on one base cookie if needed

Step 15 Mix up some green royal icing or you can use butter cream if you wish. I have used a leaf green gel colour with a few drops of brown to make it more khaki coloured, but use whatever colour you wish. A lime green looks very Halloween like!

Step 16 Randomly pipe grass using a small grass tip over the base cookie. It doesn't need to cover the whole cookie and doesn't need to cover the chocolate fondant either. Make long tufts in places or just small patches scattered. The royal icing when dry will help to further support the upright cookie if it is against this but isn't overly necessary as the chocolate fondant will give it more than enough support when dry. I made some zombie hands out of some fondant to break through the ground. I also scattered a few bones sprinkles.

Step 17 Use small cookies in amongst finished 3 dimensional scenes to create a great Halloween display, have a frightfully fun time.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Marzipan cookies

Granda Kiwicakes recently made this incredibly tasty shortbread. I'm a huge fan of marzipan, so I eagerly scoffed mine.

250g flour
150g unsalted butter, at room temp.
100g marzipan
50g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 180C. Line baking sheets baking paper
Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until evenly combined.
Cover dough and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Divide dough into 14 equally sized parts (golf ball sized).
Roll in little balls and flatten them.
Push the stamper or mould onto the flattened dough ball.
Place the dough cookies on the baking sheet. Chill 5mins
Bake for about 12 - 15 minutes or until lightly browned

Cool on wire rack. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Purse or handbag cupcakes fun for any age

Todays fun post comes from my American friend Autumn Carpenter. Autumn designs and manufacturers a broad range of cake decorating supplies, which I'm proud to stock at Kiwicakes.

These cupcakes are sure to be a hit with any handbag enthusiast. You can even change the colours to suit any party theme.

Tools and Ingredients
standard size cupcakes
ivory rolled fondant
blue rolled fondant or gumpaste
green rolled fondant or gumpaste
brown rolled fondant or gumpaste
buttercream icing
purse cutters
flower plunger cutters
cupcake wrappers
Autumn Carpenter's FabricTexture Sheet Set
Autumn Carpenter's FloralTexture Sheet Set

Roll out gumpaste, using texture if desired and cut out purse shapes. 
Allow to completely dry. Garnish with flower cut outs, lustre dust and extra decorations if desired. 
Ice cupcakes with thin layer of buttercream icing. Roll out fondant for cupcakes, using texture for some and cut out disks using circle cutter. 
Place a disk on top of each cupcake and smooth down edges. Pipe mound of buttercream on top of cupcake to support finished purses. Place each cupcake into cupcake wrapper.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tutorial Tuesday - a great way to cover cake boards

This great board covering tutorial comes to us from Lisa at The Whole Cake & Caboodle. Thanks Lisa!

I infrequently cover my boards with fondant, I try to cut costs where I can and this method is great and can be cleaned to provide you with a tidy finish. It takes next to no time as well as costing a minimal amount to get a something that coordinates with your cake.

Step 1 - materials. I use packets of tissue in a colour that works in with my cake as well as a large roll of cellophane. The cellophane is thicker than what you get in small packets at the stationers and supermarket to wrap items with. It should be thick enough that it wont wrinkle when dampened. You can test if its thick enough by using a quite damp cloth to wipe a sample clean. I use approximately 3-5 sheets of tissue depending upon how pale the colour is. Some pale colours can still be quite see through. You should be able to wrap 2-3 boards from one pack of 10 sheets .

Step 2 - putting aside the sheets you need you will notice they have folds in them. You can actually iron these out but I really don't like ironing so the next best thing is to scrunch and make the whole lot wrinkled. Scrunch all the sheets in one layer together, don't separate them.

Step 3 - Open out the tissue stack and smooth flat. It will now have an all over wrinkle effect

Step 4 - Lay out the cellophane with the tissue on top then place the board down on top. Wrap up and secure using strong tape. Before completely securing make sure to lift the board and check that the tissue hasn’t folded/pleated and is covering the board completely. Also make sure you fold the corners neatly and secure all joins so when you move the board during decorating it doesn’t catch and tear

Step 5 - This is the end result and with a cake on the board. The cake above had layers of red buttercream  inside the cake so the red board was used to highlight this once the cake was cut

Step 6 - For round cakes, trim the tissue and cellophane to a better fit. The cellophane should be slightly bigger than the tissue.

Step 7 - Secure with strong tape at each quarter like shown above. This gives it a nice even tension. Flip it and check that the tissue hasn’t folded and is covering the board

Step 8 - Now tape down in the middle of any untaped parts, so you should have tape at even spots around the board

Step 9 - Now evenly pleat the remainder in and tape securely. Make sure you get all edges so it doesn’t flap/catch

Step 10 - Finish. You can leave as is as you don’t see the bottom or if you wish secure a smaller sized board to cover the edges with either hot glue or double sided tape. Make sure you stick board to board and not to the cellophane for a secure finish. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Staff Picks for Halloween

Here at Kiwicakes we are bursting with Halloween goodies just for you and this is just a small portion of them. The Kiwicakes staff have all had fun picking what they would use this year.

Sandra liked the look of this cupcake stand a bargain at only $7.50 with Orange foil cupcake papers  and  Zombie snack silicone mould to top her cupcakes

Grandma Kiwicakes liked this mini skull pan perfect for Halloween and usable for other occasions too

And also these Halloween  with colourful sticks

Karina thought she would make monster cookies with this monster cookie cutter set and scary eyeballs, not forgetting the affordable Halloween treat bags to gift them in

Jenny decided she would make like to make cupcakes with these glow in the dark skeleton picks and orange Kiwicakes non pareils

Laura would make tiny spiders with black candy melts covered in black edible glitter (Grape flavoured) 

If you would like to see what else we have you can find them all in our Halloween category just click here ...

What would you choose?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tutorial Tuesday - Lavender flower spray

Tutorial Tuesday is all about lavender today, with Lisa from The Whole Cake & Caboodle. This pretty flower makes a lovely addition to any garden or floral themed cake and is quick & easy to make.

Roll a ball of fondant or gumpaste about the size of a large marble. If using plain fondant with no stiffener it can be done but will be very soft and difficult to handle

Make a long skinny sausage shape

Using #18 or 20 wire for thickness screw the sausage onto the wire all the way through. If you push it on you will cause it to change shape screw & twist as you push the wire in at least two thirds if not all the way. The thickness of the wire is only to simulate the stem, you can use thinner.

Using a small pair of scissors (embroidery or other) cut two notches in the top of the sausage like a cross

like so

the notches should only go a small way down - like above

Using the scissors cut notches starting near the top, randomly, don’t line the cuts up with the top layer

Working down the sausage 

This is the approx angle you should be holding your scissors 

Right to the end. You can now use the lavender if you want as they are

OR you can dust it for added depth. I used a mix of 2/3 rainbow dust plum, and 1/3 rainbow dust simple bright navy. Then as I didn't like the darkness I added a little cornflour/cornstarch to soften the colour. If you have mixed a 1/2 tsp approx of dust then add about the same again of cornflour/starch. Play with the mix to get a tone you are happy with. Using a soft paintbrush brush liberally using a plain piece of copy paper underneath. Any excess can then be funnelled back into a spare jar for another time

You can see the difference here. The top four have been dusted and the bottom three haven't. Again you can now use the lavender as they are

OR you can add a small flower spire from the top. Using a calyx cutter of around 1 - 1.5 cm in size cut a shape from thinly rolled icing.

Cut three petals from the calyx like so (the rest isn't needed)

Squish/roll the petals into each other to look like so

Poke a hole in the top of the lavender in the centre of the cut cross 

Use a touch of glue or water in the hole and then using a tool or toothpick poke the petals into the top. It doesn’t have to be even or overly symmetrical

Use as needed on a cake or as a display

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